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DPRK test-fires two scud missiles
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The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Saturday test-fired two short-range scud missiles off its eastern coast in Wonsan, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

According to a government official, the DPRK fired missiles, which appeared to be a scud type, around local time 08:00 (23:00 GMT Friday), Yonhap said.

"The missiles are estimated to have the range of about 500 km," the official told Yonhap, requesting anonymity.

The missile firing came two days after the DPRK test-fired four short-ranges off its eastern coast, which South Korean officials described as part of routine military drills.

"Although the missiles fired on Thursday appear to be part of routine military drills, the recent scud missiles seem to have political purposes as they were fired a day before the US Independence Day," the official said.

The DPRK, since May, has been spotted with actions in preparation for firing a new mid-range missile, as well as scud missiles, Yonhap said.

The military authorities, however, said no sign has been observed from either its eastern Musudan-ri base or a new Tongchang-ri base on its west to conclude that an intercontinental ballistic missile launch is imminent.

In April, the DPRK threatened to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile in protest of the UN Security Council's presidential statement which "condemned" the DPRK's earlier long- range rocket launch.  

(Xinhua News Agency July 4, 2009)

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